This was one of the outcomes organized by ECPM MEP’s Bas Belder and Branislav Škripek together with the Transatlantic Christian Council. Experts from the Middle East, Europe and the US addressed the situation of the Christian communities in Syria, Iraq and Israel.
As the European Director for International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation, Andras Patkai drew attention on the need to educate ourselves about the other cultures because “The west will transform the middle east but the middle East will also transform the west. Mainly Europe.” According to him, many westerners do not understand the root of many problems in the middle east that are related to tribal, ethnic and religious identity.
However, Christians can and do have a great positive impact in the societies where they live. Mr Rami, humanitarian worker for the Middle East on behalf of Open Doors argued this with facts and figures showing that Christian organizations are most effective in providing aid in Iraq.
It is a duty every Christian carries to help others in need. What’s more, Kirsten Evans, Executive director at In Defence of Christians, reiterated that Christians owe it to the Middle East because that is the place where Christianity was born.
In order to offer the help and protection Christians need, Adina Portaru from ADF International emphasised on the importance to recognize that what is going on in the Middle East is genocide. We need to take responsibility and join forces, to create peace and safety in the region.
Rima Tüzün from the European Syriac Union made a compelling plea for military support to Christians and other minorities that fight ISIS. Kurds, Christians and other minorities are already fighting ISIS but could be much more effective if properly supported.
As a conclusion to the conference, Johannes de Jong (CPFE) stated that western governments should work with entities that promote freedom and not with those that promote un-freedom. Martin Janssen, Middle East expert, rightly added that very often, Islamic countries have a different view on freedom that is not compatible to the western values.
All experts agreed that the western world should do more to protect Christian minorities in Syria and Iraq.